NASHVILLE – The Lipscomb women’s soccer team turned in another successful season in 2016 as the Lady Bisons tied the program record for wins (12-5-2) and reached the ASUN Championship game for the second consecutive season.
Lipscomb finished the season 90th in the RPI rankings, the highest mark in school history and one of only two schools from the conference ranked in the top-100 along with FGCU.
The Lady Bisons faced six total teams from the top-100 RPI rankings: Arkansas, Cincinnati, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, and FGCU twice.
They also earned their first two wins over an SEC team in school history after knocking off Vanderbilt 2-0 and Mississippi State 1-0.
Off the field, the Purple and Gold compiled a 3.69 GPA, the 12th-best mark in the nation for a women’s program and second in the entirety of Division I, earning the team a National Soccer Coaches Association of America Award.
Individually, the Lady Bisons also racked up several honors. Lipscomb took home four of the ASUN’s five major awards.
Senior Anna Buhigas won the ASUN Goalkeeper of the Year award for a record third-consecutive season, junior Niamh Rawlins was named the Defensive Player of the Year, Olivia Doak earned the Freshman of the Year award, and head coach Kevin O’Brien was named Coach of the Year.
Joining Buhigas, Rawlins, and Doak on the All-Conference First Team were juniors Ellen Lundy and Natalie DuBoise.
Sophomore Maycie McKay earned a spot on the All-Conference Second Team, while Leah Cernicky joined Doak on the All-Freshman team.
In addition to the All-Conference spot, DuBoise was named the ASUN Women’s Soccer Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Alongside DuBoise on the All-Academic team were Lundy, McKay, junior Emily Rogers, and sophomore Brooke Brenner.
Head Coach Kevin O’Brien’s thoughts on the successful season:
"It was another fantastic season for the team, filled with more athletic and academic awards than ever before. And that's awesome. But, what makes me happiest as their coach is the purpose behind why these girls play soccer: to glorify God. They saw every game as an opportunity to worship Him with their gifts and abilities. From August to November they never lost sight of that purpose, and win or lose, they selflessly loved one another well and, more importantly, they loved others (opponents, referees, bus drivers, hotel staff, restaurant employees, etc.) well. That, to me, is the gospel coming alive in sport. And that, to me, is what it's all about.”
“To match a program best 12 wins with the strongest schedule in program history is awesome. We’ve created a special culture here at Lipscomb, one where the daily competition is fierce, yet we have a ton of fun together. Our group is very tight off of the field, and the unity that’s created from those bonds shows itself on the field as each girl gives their all for her teammate. We may never be the most talented team in the nation, but we’ve got heart and commitment. That’s what makes us a tough match for anyone. As strong as this past season was for our program, I am confident that the best is still to come.”